Friday, March 06, 2015

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver

What happens when you are called upon to care for an elderly family member or friend, and you have no idea how to do it? Caring for a loved one can be a scary, exhausting and rewarding situation—and with an aging baby-boom population, it’s one that an increasing number of Americans find themselves facing.

Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, a new book by Bobbi Carducci, is an honest, uplifting account of the author’s experiences in caring for her father-in-law, who suffered from schizophrenia, age-related dementia, and a host of other health issues.

Bobbi Carducci was an in-home caregiver for her father-in-law, Rodger, for seven years. During that time, Carducci learned to navigate the health care system and support Rodger through the challenges of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, age-related dementia, dysphagia, C.O.P.D., and congestive heart failure. By sharing her experiences, she hopes to help those now caring for loved ones at home.

“I need to speak to the nurse in charge right now,” I informed the only person at he desk who bothered to acknowledge my presence.
“You can’t be walking around here in that gown. Dispose of it properly in the waste container before leaving the patient’s room. It’s important that everyone follow the rules. I believe you’ve been here often enough to know that.”
“I know the importance of following the rules. I also know the importance of reading a patient’s chart before giving him dangerous items or food that he can’t swallow. Now find the person in charge of this floor and the patient advocate and tell them I demand to speak with them. I’ll be waiting in Mr. Carducci’s room.”
“Don’t listen to her,” Rodger said to the head nurse as soon as she entered his room. “She worries too much. Go take care of the sick people”
“What seems to be the problem here?” she asked me.
“Let’s start with the cuts on his face and neck, shall we?” I began. “Look at him. He’s a mess. Why was a patient with Parkinson’s disease, who is also on blood thinners, given a razor?”

Truthfully and beautifully told. I ached and cried while reading, not just saying that for the review. I am going to be blunt here and I tried to think of so many ways to phrase it politely. The area where I grew up is known for its atrocious medical care, the VA in particular...the hospitals try to hype themselves....but everybody knows on some level...I go through great sorrow when I think of this concerning several loved ones. So, if Bobbi Carducci were here right now in front of me, I would give her a standing ovation and a huge hug.

This book needs to be given as a hospital resource in quiet a lot of cases. It has become trendy for people to talk of their person they are such a hero for taking care of or all their financial burdens, the (cruel) strategies they plan to take when the time comes and the great length to convince all around them that the right thing is being done. I am appalled at some of the caregivers/healthcare providers I have known...appalled. It seems to just be getting worse when it comes to elder and rehabilitative care in this country.

See that picture up there on the cover? THAT is the right thing...whether your loved one is in a healthcare facility or at home...THAT is the right thing. This book was a refreshing change. An elderly patient with mental illness who is taken care of and advocated for with true dignity and respect.

5+ stars...the first book I have ever rated like this since I started reviewing.

Bobbi Carducci is a former senior staff writer for the Purcellville Gazette, a small Washington, D.C. area newspaper. Her short stories appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort Anthologies as well is in print and online magazines.

Bobbi’s book for young readers, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, received both a Mom’s Choice Award for and a Living Now Award for Excellence. It was also named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers by Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer.

For three years she wrote a monthly book review column for About Families Publications before resigning to concentrate on writing Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver and her blog, The Imperfect Caregiver. Bobbi also writes monthly posts on caregiving for and The Caregiver Space.

Bobbi serves on the Board of Directors of Pennwriters, a national writers group with over 400 members, a position she had held for eleven years. In 2014 she received the Pennwriters Meritorious Service Award in recognition of her continuing support of the organization. She was the luncheon keynote speaker at the Pennwriters Annual Conference in 2013. She serves as a judge for the annual Benjamin Franklin Book Awards.

In her capacity as Founder and Executive Director of the Young Voices Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit established to mentor young writers, she created the Young Voices Awards honoring books that Inspire, Mentor and/or Educate Readers of all ages.

Bobbi Carducci lives in Round Hill, Virginia with her husband, Michael. When not writing, Bobbi enjoys the company of her family and friends, frequently inviting them to join her for a glass of wine and storytelling on the deck of her home overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. You may contact her directly via email at

Bobbi Carducci's website:
Barnes & Noble:

Paperback, Amazon
Kindle, Amazon
Open Books Press

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1 comment:

Bobbi Carducci said...

I found this awesome review of my book, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, and cried knowing this reviewer understands why I wrote it, reliving every moment as I went along. A lot of tears dotted the pages and I still cry when doing readings at events.
Thank you for helping me get the word out.

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5